A NASA Engineer Talks With His Space-Obsessed Nephew
Transcript - Joey Jefferson (JJ) and Jerry Morrison (JM)JJ: Why do you like space so much?
JM: Uh, there’s so much sights to see: nebulas, hot jupiters and supernova remnants.
JM: They look so beautiful.
JJ: You know how I fell in love with space? My mom gave me a really cool space shuttle. You would wind it back, and then…
JM: Oh, I have that.
JJ: You have that? So I remember playing with that all the time, and I wanted to become a pilot. I used to fly planes when I was 17 years old. And then after that, I started commanding spacecraft at NASA.
JM: Have you ever been to space?
JJ: I have not been to space but it’s a dream of mine.
JM: I want to live on another planet.
JJ: Another planet?
JM: Like, what kind of planet would you live on?
JJ: (Sighs) Of course everybody’s going to say Mars, right? Are you gonna say Mars?
JM: No. Kepler-452b.
JJ: Oh, yeah. So Kepler-452b is your favorite planet.
Do you know what we call those?
JJ: And there’s, actually, we estimate to be trillions of galaxies out there. So there’s a lot of stars and a lot of exoplanets that we got to find. And so we need people like you to keep doing what you’re doing. And it’s one thing to get to this place where you know all this knowledge but it’s another thing to teach a knowledge.
JJ: So you were in kindergarten and you taught the fifth graders, right?
JJ: How did you like that?
JM: It was a big opportunity for me. I, like, taught all the planets. It was awesome.
JJ: (Laughs) How do you feel when we visit each other and we get to talk about space?
JM: It feels good. I learned from you a lot, like more than I could imagine.
JJ: You’re my favorite person to talk about space to. You know that?
JJ: And you’re learning so much by yourself too, that you’re teaching me as well.
JJ: And that’s really cool.
The more you learn the more we realize the little things in life we take for granted are the very things that make life possible. So when I look up in the stars, I think about that.
JM: That is pretty cool.
JJ: My hope is that you are always going to be doing and learning about the things that you love the most. You can do whatever you want, but in the future, I think you’re going to go to Kepler 452b.